Recently, teachers reflected on significant events from the school year which has just ended at Calvary Classical School. What came to their minds? How did their students grow? What teachable moments will they remember forever? Here are some of their responses.
One teacher commented on a student’s grasp of the phonograms and how the child extended that knowledge to reading and spelling new words on her own. It is a teacher’s joy to see the gift of reading come alive for students, and we have excellent tools in our curriculum toolbox to assist in the process.
Another teacher of young grammar students noted that several parents came to her delighted that their children were reading the Bible unaided. That is our primary goal in reading—to read the words of the Author of words, the Logos.
Speaking of words, a new teacher noticed how much figurative language is found in literature and the Bible. She oversaw numerous conversations about language and meaning, equipping her students for greater critical thinking in the logic stage.
A veteran teacher related one of her favorite moments which is repeated yearly. Before Easter, the class reads The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman, a memorable prince and pauper novel. Each year, without her prompting, the students grasp parallels to Christ and begin to discuss. The teacher just hangs on for the ride! Sure, it’s a great story about friendship and trust, but it wouldn’t be possible without The Greatest Story Ever Told, and they get it.
One teacher relayed how her students’ journal entries allowed her the opportunity to pray for them specifically and provide Biblical counsel, while two others recalled conversations that opened the door for sharing the gospel. Finally, a logic-stage teacher observed that her students grew in evaluating history with a Biblical worldview, looking at the past and making applications to their own lives.
It was a year of lunches and laughter; tests and tears; grades and, sadly, a number of final good byes. But in the end, teachers will remember what was most important—opportunities to share Christ abounded in our day and in our curriculum. Thank you, CCS teachers, for making those meaningful memories possible. And thank you to our retiring principal, Mrs. Lori Rogers, for leading us faithfully toward this goal each year.
Memorization plays a significant role in Classical Christian Education. As a former public school teacher, learning how memory is taught, encouraged, and required in Classical Education seemed an odd concept. However, it did not take long for me to see the value of memorization and get on board – both for my students and myself. I see the fruit of the laboring to memorize as much as possible alongside my students.
Intellectual Takeout, a self-proclaimed “refuge of national discourse,” recently posted an article called “Children Have Amazing Powers of Memorization… So Why Aren’t Schools Using Them?” This secular site has zeroed in on what Classical Education has known for centuries!
I want to continue shaping in my students a love of God’s Word and a passion for memorizing what is good, true, and beautiful.
Around the same time, I had my students respond to an article from Desiring God entitled “Ten Reasons to Memorize Big Chunks of the Bible.” If you’re on the fence about the importance of memorization for children, perhaps my students’ brief responses to this article can sway you:
“Scripture can help you in everyday life. … It’s important to focus on God and not the world so much. Of course, it is important to be concerned about the world, but God’s Word is more important.”
“…memorizing the Bible will not be easy, but is doable.”
“… God is protecting us and wants us to read and memorize His Word.”
“I learned that you can face your fear. Also, that God has your back.”
“… the more you memorize God’s Word, the more comforting it is and the more familiar it will be to you.”
“… you should memorize big chunks of the Bible because it is important to know and love Scripture.”
“I need to take more time to read and memorize the Bible.”
These are the attitudes I want to continue shaping in my students: a love of God’s Word and a passion for memorizing what is good, true, and beautiful, whether poetry, timelines, songs, nursery rhymes, or Scripture.
Post by Sara Winant, Calvary Classical School’s sixth-grade teacher.
In this last week, we turn our eyes to survey the road behind us. Another school year is coming to completion: tests taken, math formulas mastered, and mountains of memory work conquered!
Students (and teachers) breathe a sigh of relief as classroom tasks come to a screeching halt. The days of assignments and due dates will shortly be replaced with beach gear and play dates as students welcome summer days with open arms.
Tomorrow, at the awards assembly, we mark the end of this year’s work with praise and pats on the back. We applaud perfect attendance and recognize exemplary character. Certificates and handshakes acknowledge various levels of academic achievement.
But there are multitudes of unseen accomplishments which cannot be met with public applause. The personal victory of overcoming reading obstacles or wrestling and finally triumphing over elusive math concepts. The denial of self by letting a classmate go first. The smothering of an impulse to say something negative because we remembered what God said about loving our neighbor.
There are multitudes of unseen accomplishments which cannot be met with public applause.
But, Someone has seen all of this because the Bible tells us nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. So, on this day, we know that whether recognized in the public eye or attained in secret, each success shares this common thread: each was achieved with the gifts God has given. We remember “…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) Our good work is the handiwork of the One who gives all men life and breath. This day we proclaim with the Psalmist, “The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad” (Psalm 126:3).
This post was written by Joy McMinn, administrative assistant and blog writer at CCS. She has three children enrolled at Calvary Classical School.
In the world of internet sales, there is nothing quite as disappointing as buying a product online only to find, after days of waiting for its arrival on your doorstep, that it’s not what you expected. When our family moved to the Hampton Roads area six years ago, my husband and I were presented with the feat of finding a school (and a house!) in just two short days. The task seemed daunting, so I took to the internet, scouring every corner for possible leads and setting up school tours. But, as is often the case with the internet, what you see is not always what you get.
I had put countless hours into hunting for a great school for our upcoming kindergartner, but all my planning was to no avail. Our school visits did not measure up to what we were hoping to find. Thankfully, my fruitless search was setting me up to experience the beauty of the scriptural truth that God appoints the times and places in which we are to dwell.
“We knew this was our school.”
After all my futile efforts to craft a plan for the future, God orchestrated a seemingly insignificant conversation with some new found friends who recommended Calvary with great excitement and fervor. With only one day remaining in our visit, we wasted no time in calling CCS. From the moment we arrived, we knew this was our school.
With the simple recommendation of friends, we discovered the priceless pearl that is Calvary Classical School. Six years and three enrolled students later, we are still confident in our choice to enroll our children at CCS. In fact, year after year, we are amazed at the opportunity that God has given us to be part of this school community where we see hearts overflowing with devotion to students, redemption infused discipline, tireless commitment to quality, and dedication to integrating Biblical truth into everyday moments.
If you are looking for a fantastic school, look no further! If you are blessed to be part of the CCS family, spread the word about our school! It could likely be the priceless pearl that someone else is seeking!
This post by Joy McMinn, our administrative assistant and mom to three CCS students.
Note: we do not support organizationally or speak ill of any president, past or future. This is simply a commentary on the opportunities we see before us.
Until just now, you have probably never mentioned President Trump and our school in the same sentence. In reflecting on the events of the past few months, we have realized what a golden opportunity we have in Hampton Roads to capitalize on the proposals set forth by the new administration.
President Trump recently visited our area to speak to the employees at Newport News shipyard. He talked about his plans to expand the military spending budget and his desire to increase the amount of carriers in our Navy. To an organization hit hard by spending cuts over the last few years, this was a welcome sign that jobs would once again return to the area after a season of higher unemployment and more uncertainty.
While we are not affiliated with any political party, any policy that creates growth in Hampton Roads is great news for CCS! We hope this increased budget causes the military community – and subsequently our civilian community as well – to expand rapidly. Fort Eustis and Langley Air Force Base both have the potential to benefit from the growth that may happen.
Choosing a new school is especially tough on military families
As a parent, choosing the right school for your child can be an overwhelming decision. This is especially tough on military families who move into a community and immediately have to decide where to send their children without having a lot of information about each particular choice. On top of that, there is pressure to choose wisely. Education is one of the most important components of a child’s life, and it is a privilege to be held in the highest regard.
Whether you are involved in the military or not, be on the lookout for opportunities to reach out to new folks who move into the area. Many of them will lack a community, friendships, and in our case, a school their children can attend. Use these moments as opportunities to make newcomers feel welcome, and tell them the reason behind why you send your child to CCS!
Word-of-mouth referrals are the number one reason we welcome new families into our school. If you love CCS, as so many of you talked about during our Love CCS social media promotion, tell someone about it! Help new military families find the right educational choice for their children. Welcome them, talk to them, and have them over for dinner! it’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends and help them with the resources you already have.
No matter what President is in office, we hope to see growth in our area for many years to come. We love serving the current families involved in our school, and we are excited to see even more faces in our classrooms in the future!
Post by Maria Spady. Maria is a wedding and family photographer based in Hampton Roads. She is on the CCS team as a marketing specialist.